Lately though, instead of looking it as an experience they took, romanticized, and made into a masterpiece, I've been looking at said pieces of work as just an experience they needed to write down. While some novels seem grand it is possible that in reality, the writer at the time (most of the time) probably sat down and just did as Hemingway suggested, bled onto the page. It wasn't necessarily their intention to make their work anything but a journal. They might have had no choice but to keep writing until their pain had given way into something greater.
I came to this conclusion thinking of my own journey. If I was to sit down and write a really honest account of what I'd been through and write it from a hopeful place, my work too could be idolized. What we look at with rose colored glasses, such as finding love in a time of war or surviving a terrible tragedy, was for many writers, probably just life. Truth be told, for the first time I am trying to write away something inside of me that just won't go. The more I write, the more I need to write. The amount of words seem endless and I can see how easy it would to get lost in desire or pain.
How hard would it be to have a drink and an adventure with friends and call it inspiration? Could writing that experience down become a story that years from now, somebody yearned to live? My point is that I truly believe that for some there is no other way to find their way unless it is through written word. This change of view I've had is also a way to make the "greats" more real and easier to relate to. Truthfully, some of us just have no choice but to bleed ink until we've run out of things to say.